Ricciardo sets new track record in Monaco practice

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo breaks the track record in practice at the Monaco Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo broke the track record in second practice at the Monaco Grand Prix as he finished both Thursday practice sessions at the top of the timesheets.

The Australian posted a fastest lap time of 1:11.841 to finish the day just ahead of teammate Max Verstappen, who was less than 0.2s adrift.

Lewis Hamilton looked strong in the morning, completing the top three in FP1, but struggled for balance later in the day, allowing Sebastian Vettel to move ahead of him in the afternoon. The current champion seemed to struggle on the hypersoft tyres during his race simulation phase.

After the top three teams, Renault appear to be the best of the rest, with Carlos Sainz setting a faster lap time than Valtteri Bottas in FP1. The Finn improved in the afternoon, but Nico Hulkenberg ended the session just behind Bottas, while just 0.15s separated the German from the two McLarens and Sainz.

McLaren will be hoping they can move ahead of Renault in qualifying, having posted similar lap times to their engine supplier’s factory cars in FP2. Fernando Alonso spent a long period in the garage in the morning, managing just 16 laps in the opening session, but with more track time the Spaniard found pace in FP2, although it was Stoffel Vandoorne who set the quickest time of the day for the team.

The two drivers coming into this weekend without any points, Romain Grosjean and Sergey Sirotkin, both had brushes with the barrier in the morning session. Sirotkin just needed a new front wing, but Grosjean lost the majority of the session while Haas carried out repairs to his car.

It was a busy morning for the Haas mechanics, as Kevin Magnussen was also hampered by an apparent fuel injection problem, and the lack of track time appeared to affect the team in the afternoon as both drivers struggled for pace.

Sirotkin recovered from his morning problems to finish ahead of both Haas cars, the Saubers and his teammate in second practice, but Lance Stroll complained of numerous problems with his Williams, including issues with his seat and knee pain.

Only Marcus Ericsson was slower than Stroll in the afternoon despite completing more laps than every driver except Brendon Hartley. Charles Leclerc, who is competing at his home race, had a 0.6s advantage over his teammate.

Force India made a bright start to the day, with Sergio Perez finishing just behind Bottas in first practice, but he and Esteban Ocon fell back in the afternoon, ending the day in between the two Toro Rosso cars.

Hartley was the faster of the two Toro Rosso drivers, finishing 12th in the earlier session before ending the day 11th in FP2, almost 0.2s faster than Pierre Gasly.

P2 had to be red flagged around half an hour into the session as a drain cover came loose. It took around 15 minutes for repairs to be carried out, cutting into the teams’ race simulation time.

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